The Olive City
|o Body||Concello de Vigo|
|o Mayor||Abel Caballero (PSdeG-PSOE)|
|o Municipality||109.1 km2 (42.1 sq mi)|
|Elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|o Density||2,700/km2 (7,000/sq mi)|
vigués (m), viguesa (f)
olívico (m), olívica (f)
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Area code(s)||+34 986|
Vigo (, Galician: ['bi], locally ['bi], Spanish: ['bi?o]) is an industrial city and municipality in the province of Pontevedra, within the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain. Located in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, it sits on the southern shore of an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, the Ria de Vigo, the southernmost of the so-called Rías Baixas.
The municipality has an area of 109.06 km2 (42.11 sq mi) and a population of 295,364 in 2019, making it the most populous municipality in Galicia.
Vigo is one of the region's primary economic agents, owing to the French Citroën automotive factory and to the Port of Vigo. Close to the Portugal-Spain border, Vigo is part of the Galicia-North Portugal Euroregion. The European Fisheries Control Agency is headquartered in Vigo.
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In the Middle Ages, the small village of Vigo was part of the territory of Galician-speaking neighbouring towns, particularly Tui, and suffered several Viking attacks. However, its number of inhabitants was so small that, historically, it was not considered a real villa until around the 15th century, when the earliest records began.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the city was attacked several times. In 1585 and 1589, during an unsuccessful attack by the English counter-Armada, Francis Drake raided the city and temporarily occupied it, burning many buildings. Several decades later a Turkish fleet tried to attack the city. As a result, the city's walls were built in 1656 in the reign of Philip IV of Spain. They are still partially preserved.
At this time, and in spite of the attacks, Vigo developed its earliest commerce and was given several privileges by the kings of Spain.
In 1702, the Battle of Vigo Bay occurred, and in 1719, because a Spanish fleet which departed from Vigo attempted to invade Scotland in support of the Jacobites, the city was occupied for ten days by a British force.
In 1808, the French Army annexed Spain to the Napoleonic Empire, although Vigo remained unconquered until January, 1809. Vigo was also the first city of Galicia to be freed from French rule, in what is annually celebrated on March 28 as the Reconquista (reconquest from the French in the context of the Peninsular War). In 1833, the city of Pontevedra was designated the provincial capital of the province of Pontevedra, within which is Vigo.
Vigo grew very rapidly in the 20th century thanks to the fact that the Franco government granted it a tax-free zone in 1947 so that companies could set up there for free and an Industrial Development Pole in 1964, a very unusual case for a non-capital of a Spanish province. Continuous urban-planning changes left Vigo less structured than other Galician cities such as Pontevedra and A Coruña.
Vigo has been given the nickname cidade olívica (city of olives). It is said that, after the conflict between the Isabel de Castilla and Juana la Beltraneja--where Galician nobility fought for the latter--the victor ordered all of Galicia's olive trees to be cut down, as they symbolized peace. She couldn't uproot the tree in Vigo, however, because it was planted in sacred ground. The tree is represented in the city seal, and a descendant of it is still alive in Vigo's city centre.
In the northeast, it borders the municipality of Redondela; in the east, Mos; in the south, O Porriño and Gondomar; and in the southwest, Nigrán. On the other side of its bay are the municipalities of Cangas and Moaña.
Vigo's has an Oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb). Although Vigo is the rainiest city in Galicia, in actuality, with its noticeable drying trend in the summer, Vigo's climate is more similar to the variant of the oceanic climate commonly seen in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Substantial rainfall throughout the year prevents it from being classified as a Mediterranean climate, even though there is a drying trend in summer. The average annual temperature in Vigo is 14 °C (57 °F). Compared to many other Galician towns, Vigo and Pontevedra experience warmer summer temperatures than A Coruña or Santiago de Compostela and milder winters than inland areas. This is due to its sheltered location, surrounded by mountains inland and the Illas Cíes out in the bay towards the sea. The all-time record high for the city is 39.7 °C (103 °F) set on July 5, 2013. Vigo is known for its extreme rainfall in winter. December 1978 saw 925.6 millimetres (36.44 in) fall at the weather station in a single month. During that month on 7 December, 175 millimetres (6.9 in) fell on a single day. Normal values for 1981-2010 was 1,791 millimetres (70.5 in) falling on just 129.2 days indicating heavy rain to be common. The airport where values are taken is at a higher elevation than the city centre, which likely is warmer year-round.
|Climate data for Vigo (Vigo Airport 261m) (1981-2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||21.8
|Average high °C (°F)||11.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||8.6
|Average low °C (°F)||5.4
|Record low °C (°F)||-4.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||208
|Average precipitation days||14||12||12||14||12||7||5||5||8||13||13||15||129|
|Average relative humidity (%)||84||78||73||73||73||71||71||71||74||81||84||84||77|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||114||131||178||193||228||273||296||287||212||154||112||101||2,169|
|Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología|
The city of Vigo has 293,642 inhabitants (2018) with an extended metropolitan population of 478,508, in a southern part of the province of Pontevedra making it Spain's 14th-largest metropolitan area.
In 2019, 15,319 foreigners lived in the city, 5.2% of the total population. The main nationalities are Portuguese (12%), Venezuelans (9.2%)Brazilians (9%), Romanians (7.5%), Colombians (6.5%), Senegal (4%) and Chinese people (3%).
By language, according to 2013 data, 7.68% of the population speak exclusively in Galician, and 51.39% in Spanish; 11.38% speak in Galician more often than Spanish, and 29.55% more often in Spanish than Galician. This makes Vigo the least Galician-speaking city in Galicia.
The creation of Vigo Metropolitan Area was approved in 2016 and, in addition to Vigo, it originally accounted for the following 13 municipalities: Baiona, Cangas, Fornelos de Montes, Gondomar, Moaña, Mos, Nigrán, Pazos de Borbén, O Porriño, Redondela, Salceda de Caselas, Salvaterra de Miño and Soutomaior. It has been however suspended since its creation. The European Union's Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy assigns Vigo a wider functional urban area (FUA), with 21 municipalities and a population of 541,000 inhabitants.
Vigo is a municipality, the basic level of local government in Spain. The Ayuntamiento (concello in Galician) is the body charged with the municipal government and administration. The Plenary of the concello is formed by 27 elected municipal councillors, who in turn invest the mayor.
The last municipal election took place on 26 May 2019, leading to a plenary formed by 20 councillors from the Socialists' Party of Galicia-PSOE, 4 from the People's Party, 2 from the Marea de Vigo and 1 from the Galician Nationalist Bloc. The current mayor is Abel Caballero (Spanish Socialist Workers Party), who has won four mandates in a row since becoming mayor in 2007.
Vigo is administratively divided into 23 parroquias ("parishes").
An industrial and recent city, Vigo has few remarkable old buildings but is home to a collegiate church and a few museums, most of which were inaugurated between the late 1990s and early 2000s. Among them, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MARCO) and the Museum of the Sea. The oldest museum is the Quiñones de León Municipal Museum. The most important historical centre of the region is located in its capital and rival city, Pontevedra.
The municipality of Vigo is not only one of the major industrial cities in Galicia, but it is also one of the more important Roman centers of Pontevedra. Although within the city one will not find much Romanesque architecture, it can be seen a few kilometers away from the city center. In many of the municipality's neighborhoods and parishes a large number of Roman ruins remain. Such is the importance of the Roman remains in Vigo that many Spanish authors have come to coin the term Romanesque Vigo (románico vigués in Spanish). Vigo retains some interesting examples of Romanesque churches in southern Galicia:
A ferry service operates between the Port of Vigo and the towns of Cangas and Moaña as well as the Cíes Islands, 15 kilometres away from the city, part of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park, the only National Park in Galicia, which includes Ons Island in the Pontevedra Bay.
The A-52 road goes inland, east to Ourense and Madrid from O Porriño. A branch of the AP-9 Motorway connects Vigo to Portugal in the south and with Pontevedra, Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña and Ferrol in the north.
Urban transport is provided by buses by Vitrasa progestin.
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Vigo is characterized by a diversified economy linked to the fishing sector, industry, trade, tourism and services. It is often considered with A Coruña one of the economic and industrial engines of Galicia.
Vigo is one of the leading industrial areas in Galicia, with a French car factory, shipyards, and auxiliary industry in both automotive and marine sectors. Situated in Vigo, the French factory PSA Peugeot Citroën since 1958, in 2007 produced a total of 545,000 vehicles, of which more than 82% were sold outside Spain.
In addition, Vigo has a fishing port and is the home port of one of the world's largest fishing company, Pescanova and the most important centre of the Galician canned fish industry. The headquarters of the European Fisheries Control Agency are also located in the city.
The publishing industry in Galician is prominent in the city, with Editorial Galaxia and Editorial Xerais.
The Port of Vigo covers a length of more than 20 km and offers more than 9 km of docks. The largest port traffic is general freight, highlighting container traffic, RO-RO of vehicles (the second in Spain in Ro-Ro traffic for new vehicles), natural stone and granite (the first of Spain in granite traffic), wood and preserved food.
The University of Vigo is located in a mountainous area 15 kilometres away from the city, in the parish of Zamáns. It is a center for studies related to ocean-based industries. The university has additional campuses in Pontevedra and Ourense.
The University of Vigo was founded in 1990 as split from the University of Santiago de Compostela. The Zamáns Campus features several examples of modern architecture, projected by the likes of Enric Miralles, Alfonso Penelas, Pilar Díez y Alberto Noguerol César Portela, Gabriel Santos Zas and César Padrón.
A movida viguesa was a hedonistic cultural movement akin to the Movida madrileña that took place in Vigo during the 1980s triggered by the explosion of liberties after the death of dictator Francisco Franco. The most important artists of this postmodern movement were musicians; particularly punk and new wave bands such as Siniestro Total, Golpes Bajos, Aerolíneas Federales, Semen Up or Os Resentidos.
At the moment, the city still has notorious bands like Iván Ferreiro (ex-singer of Los Piratas) and Mon.
Vigo has two daily newspapers; the Faro de Vigo, the oldest newspaper in Spain still in circulation, and the Atlántico Diario, a little local newspaper. There also exist a local edition of the Galician main headline newspaper "La Voz de Galicia". Vigo was also the main location of historic newspaper such as the nationalist weekly newspaper "A Nosa Terra", now defunct (published from 1977 to 2011).
Vigo also has a TV local station: "Televigo".
Radio coverage includes RNE --the Spanish public radio network--, Radio Galega --a Galician government-supported radio in Galician language--, and some private-owned stations ("Radio Vigo - Cadena Ser", "Radio Voz Vigo", "Radio ECCA", and so on).
Around 2000s, several online news websites emerged (for example, "riadevigo.com") besides of the traditional media homepages. Vigo also participated in the Europeanwide free newspapers rush led by "Metro" and some free journals were published in 1990s and 2000s: "20 minutos", "Gaceta Universitaria", "Redacción Xove", etcetera. "España Exterior" is also printed in Vigo.
The locally produced award-winning feature movie Mondays In The Sun (original title Los lunes al sol) depicts the life of several men who have lost their work at the Port of Vigo. This film is not based on a single individual's experiences but on the perceived collective experiences of many local port workers.
Vigo has one of the most important women's basketball team in Spain, Celta, more commonly referred to today by its sponsorship name of Celta Indepo. They usually compete in the top league of women's basketball, having won the championship three times. For the season 2012-2013, and following a number of economic problems, the team will play in the Spanish women basketball second division.
Vigo has a football team, Real Club Celta de Vigo, which (as of 2019-20) plays in La Liga. The women's team from the area, Federación Viguesa de Peñas Recreativas El Olivo, was the first team from Galicia to compete in the Women's Primera División.
The Rías Baixas offer an excellent environment for nautical sports. Institutions such as the Real Club Nautico de Vigo (RCNV), founded in 1906, and the Liceo Marítimo de Bouzas (LMB), founded in 1907, are good examples of promotion of the nautical sports, especially sailing.
The RCNV organises important events like Atlantic Week, which in September 2006 included the World Championship of the Platu 25 class. Every August, the RCNV also organises one of the largest sailboat races in the Iberian peninsula: the Regata Rías Baixas. In 2006 more than 130 different boats participated.
The LMB is a yacht club which counts around 400 associates. The LMB has a long and intense history of sailing and recreational fishing. The LMB organizes two important regattas in the Galician sailing calendar: the Regata Vila de Bouzas and a Regata de Solitarios y a Dos.
The Regata Vila de Bouzas honours the neighbourhood where the LMB is located. The Regata de Solitarios y a Dos is sponsored by the firm Aister and is for crews of one and two members. It is a difficult race with two stages; the first consists of a race through the coastal bay of Vigo while the second stage is a longer race around the Cies Islands (and/or Ons Islands). The LMB has schools of sailing and fishing. Yearly it organizes a cephalopods fishing competition.
Vigo has reached twin town, sister city agreements with: